Incredible Rainbow Pasta Salad for Your Next Family Gathering

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Welcome to the dog days of summer. It is hot, muggy, and when the storms come through they mean business. Public pools, beaches, and splash pads are crowded and friends and family are trying to make plans to get together one last time before school starts again. When it’s this hot out you don’t want to be standing over a hot stove or turning on the oven. Yes, you do have to boil the pasta but you can walk away from that one and it only takes a few minutes.

small-vegetable-garden-side-yard

I have a small vegetable garden in my side yard, and the pepper, tomatoes and cucumbers came from there. If you have never had homegrown vegetables, trust me, you will not believe how much more flavorful they are. Of course they are not showroom perfect (check out the pepper below that resembles a veggie version of a Russian Doll) but they are delicious. Yes, you are seeing that right, there is a pepper inside a pepper, inside a pepper.

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This colorful pasta salad is loaded with veggies and flavor. It is perfect for any potluck, carry-in, buffet, or gathering any time of year. It has a creamy dressing that does not overpower the flavors of the veggies and makes enough for a large crowd. If you want to make a smaller batch it is easy enough to cut the recipe down, although it is so good any will disappear out of your fridge quickly even with a small family. I make this delicious recipe quite a bit when Eric and I take road trips. It travels well in the cooler and is perfect picnic food.

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Creamy Rainbow Pasta Salad

Ingredients

SALAD
16 oz. Ditalini Pasta
1 C. Tomatoes (finely diced)
1/2 C. bacon (crumbled) I used Kirkland brand Bacon Crumbles
1 C. broccoli florets (Chopped)
1/2 red onion (Minced)
1 Orange Pepper (you can use any color but I chose orange for the color)
1 Cucumber (finely chopped)
3.8 oz. can sliced black olives
1 C. sharp Cheddar Cheese
DRESSING
3/4 C. Miracle Whip
1 C. Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions then rinse with cold water until pasta is cooled. Put pasta into a large bowl. Add all ingredients for the salad and mix well. Mix all dressing ingredients well with a spoon or whisk. Pour into pasta salad and mix dressing thoroughly together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to be served.

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This salad can easily be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated. In fact, it is better after it has sat in the refrigerator overnight as the flavors have had time to meld together.

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    You can easily leave out the bacon or substitute it for tuna, salmon, chicken, crab, or shrimp

    pasta-salad-closeup
    Yield: 25 Servings

    Incredible Rainbow Pasta Salad Recipe for Your Next Family Gathering

    Prep Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour

    This is a fantastic tasting pasta salad. Perfect for any large gathering it is loaded with veggies and is as delicious as it is colorful. It is a hit every time we make it.

    Ingredients

    • SALAD
    • 16 oz. Ditalini Pasta
    • 1 C. Tomatoes (finely diced)
    • 1/2 C. bacon (crumbled) I used Kirkland brand Bacon Crumbles
    • 1 C. broccoli florets (Chopped)
    • 1/2 red onion (Minced)
    • 1 Orange Pepper (you can use any color but I chose orange for the color)
    • 1 Cucumber (finely chopped)
    • 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives
    • 1 C. sharp Cheddar Cheese
    • DRESSING
    • 3/4 C. Miracle Whip
    • 1 C. Mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • 1 tsp. salt

    Instructions

    1. Cook the pasta according to package directions then rinse with cold water until pasta is cooled.
    2. Put pasta into a large bowl. Add all ingredients for salad and mix well.
    3. Mix all dressing ingredients well with spoon or whisk.
    4. Pour into pasta salad and mix dressing thoroughly together.
    5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to be served.

    Notes

    The salad tastes best if allowed to sit for a few hours or overnight in order for the flavors to blend. This makes a very large batch and you can cut the recipe in half for a smaller gathering for a family meal.

    We typically mix this up and take it with us in the cooler for road trips as it travels well and is both filling and loaded with veggies.

    Did you make this salad? Let me know what you thought.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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